Hi everybody! This is Tim here. I just got back from my summer vacation, and I wanted to share some of the cool things Moby and I saw and learned during our travels around the United States with my family. My mom said it was going to be a long trip, so I brought plenty of books and games to keep from getting bored. If you saw my Twitter posts, you know that I also brought my cell phone : ) Little did I know that taking pictures, meeting new people, and learning about different places would keep me so busy!
Our first stopover was Akron, Ohio, nicknamed the Rubber Capital of the World. If you know me you know that I love baseball, and the Akron Aeros game was the first of four that we saw during the trip. We also met a kid my age who had won a huge trophy during the soapbox derby championships, which are an Akron tradition.
We next drove through Chicago and stopped to see a really beautiful Baha’i temple in Wilmette, Illinois. That night, we stayed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their funky-looking art museum, which was designed by a famous architect, was closed the next day, but we saw the Harley Davidson museum instead, which was pretty awesome. In one display you could see all the parts of a motorcycle, as if it had magically exploded into itty bitty pieces!
The next day we drove through Iowa and saw lots of wind turbines. It was neat to see how big they are in real life! Did you know that they can be as many as 90 meters tall? We stayed in Cedar Rapids that night, and in addition to another ballgame, we saw some of the effects from a recent flood of the river that runs through the city. By the way, I should mention that it was really cool that my dad rented a car with a GPS in it. It made it a lot easier to find our way around, although the GPS lady sometimes said the same thing five times, which was both funny and annoying.
South Dakota was our next state, and we drove all the way across! We stopped at the Badlands National Park, where we could see how erosion had created an alien landscape. We also visited probably the most famous sculpture in America: Mount Rushmore! South Dakota is also home to the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, where about 300 Lakota Sioux were killed by the 7th Cavalry in 1890. Be sure to look for our upcoming Wounded Knee Massacre movie to learn more.
We headed north so that we could visit North Dakota, though we didn’t stay there long. Long enough to visit the museum in Bowman, though, which was really fascinating because they had dinosaur bones! This part of the country is famous for its dinos. Next door, Montana—also called “Big Sky Country”—was beautiful. We stopped in an old Wild West town of Miles City, and Moby bought some cowboy boots. We also visited the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn, a famous skirmish in which General George Custer and his men were all killed in the most famous event of the Great Sioux War.
We really enjoyed the scenery as we made our way across the beautiful but windy road into Yellowstone National Park, where we saw buffalo, elk, and even a grizzly bear! Summer is a great time to visit the park because the bears aren’t hibernating. But they get hungry in the warm months, so people have to be careful not leave food around, especially when they’re camping outside, like we did! Yellowstone was our farthest point west, so we headed south after that through Grand Teton National Park and back across Wyoming.
Next we drove through some American Indian reservations and stopped at the famous Fort Laramie, an Army base and resting stop for pioneers on the Oregon Trail. We had a tour of the fort and tasted ice cold sarsaparilla sodas. Delicious! From there, we drove through the farmlands of Nebraska and Kansas. I didn’t realize how big the Great Plains really were until I saw them. You can drive for miles and miles without seeing any houses! I really liked the city of Wichita, though.
We drove briefly through Oklahoma and into Arkansas, where we stayed in the capital city of Little Rock. We then headed into Tennessee so we could visit Memphis, which played a huge role in the history of blues music and rock-and-roll! We also made a stop at Graceland—the home of the late Elvis Presley—where Moby insisted on purchasing yet another pair of Elvis sunglasses.
Anyway, after Memphis came Nashville, also called “Music City USA,” where we got to listen to live country music and visit a zoo! For the last two days we were in Kentucky, where we learned a ton about horses, and West Virginia, which is covered in beautiful rolling mountains. From there, we drove straight home. It was an awesome trip! If you want to see some of the pictures I took of Moby in front of different sights you can see them on BrainPOP’s Flickr page!